Friday, January 29, 2021

ANGELES-PORAC FLYOVER

Through the support of Senator Lito Lapid, First District Congressman Carmelo "Jon" Lazatin II, DPWH-Central Luzon Regional Director Roseller Guiao and DPWH-Pampanga 3rd DEO District Engineer Tito Salvador, the project aims to ease traffic congestion in-bound and out-bound in Porac and Filipino-American Friendship Highway and Rizal Extension in Angeles City. 

Senator Lito Lapid said the volume of traffic in Barangay Cutcut particularly the intersection near the Holy Family Academy necessitated the need for a flyover to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

Lapid said the flow of traffic will improve in the intersection that connects Porac town to Angeles City and the City of San Fernando to Friendship Circumferential Road all the way to the Clark Freeport Zone.

Senator Lapid will provide funding for the construction of the Angeles-Porac flyover and the Angeles City Sports Complex.

Porac Mayor Jaime "Jing" V. Capil and Angeles City Mayor Carmelo "Pogi'" Lazatin, Jr. together with engineers of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Central Luzon met on last Friday, January 22, 2021, to discuss the concrete flyover project in Barangay Cutcut along Porac-Angeles Road. 

Residents of Angeles City and Porac town will also benefit from the proposed flyover while passengers of the Clark International Airport that will come from these areas can easily access the airport.

Sen. Lapid made the announcement during the opening of the Fortunegate Casino inside the Clark Freeport. Lapid hails from Porac town.


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Angeles Electric Corporation

Businesses come and go. But not for these Kapampangan enterprises founded by visionaries who poured in blood, sweat and tears to build these commercial establishments that have--with a dash of luck--become icons of economic success in the province's business landscape. Let's see some of these businesses that are still in existence and continue to endure to this very day.

Angeles City’s main power provider, the Angeles Electric Corp., began as Angeles Electric Light and Power Plant on July 10, 1923, a project of Don Juan Nepomuceno and wife, Nena Gomez. The couple—who already had an ice plant, and would go on to found other ventures like Holy Angel Academy, a softdrinks factory, a subdivision and a commercial shopping complex---thought that bringing  power to a community, including light to the church—was a great idea. With a 2,000 pesos down payment on a Php 72,000 power plant machines—the Nepomucenos set forth to establish the electric company that would serve Angeles continuously, except during the dark days of the war. It was incorporated in 1959 as Angeles Electric Corp. and the institution continues to provide power service, efficiently and competently-- not only to the city but also to nearby areas, today.

The company came to be known as Angeles Electric Corporation (AEC) when it was incorporated and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1959. Today, after more than 90 years in operation, AEC continues to move forward and remain at par with industry leaders.

Angeles Electric Corporation holds the distinction of being the first electric utility company to achieve 100% electrification of all areas within its franchise coverage.  This happened in 1969 with the conversion of distribution voltage from 2,400v to 13,800v that enabled the company to extend its power lines to the remotest barangay of Angeles City.

While the ‘80s may be considered as banner years when AEC experienced unprecedented growth with the increase in coverage area and computerization of the billing system, the ‘90s will be remembered as the turbulent decade of the power crisis, Mt. Pinatubo eruption and labor unrest.  It was during this period when AEC made a determined effort – and succeeded – to enhance customer service and information retrieval system.

On the fourteenth year of the new century, Angeles Electric Corporation is gearing up to meet the challenges of an industry in a state of transition.  AEC’s competitiveness in a deregulated environment is anchored on a two-pronged thrust: the enhancement of service delivery and the strengthening of operational and financial viability.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

OLD NAMES OF PAMPANGA TOWNS

1. CULIÁT (Angeles)

The town was inaugurated in 1829, and was given two names by its founder, Don Angel Pantaleon de Miranda: ‘Culiat’, a woody vine (Gnetum indicum Lour.) that grew in abundance in the area cleared by his tenants and future residents of the place. Another name given was “Angeles” in honor of the ‘Los Santos Angeles Custodios” (Holy Guardian Angels), titular patrons of the town, and of the founder himself. Only oldtimers use Culiat nowadays; to modern-day residents, Angeles is preferred, as it has a more cosmopolitan ring for a city.

2. BALAYAN NING PAMBUÍT (Arayat)

Before the coming of the Spaniards, the town was called by its ancient name “Balayan ning Pambuit”, then located at barrio Palinlang (or Paglinglang), as the  poblacion was still forested. In vernacular, the place was originally called “dayat”, which means ‘an irrigated riceland or seedbed. Its most visible landmark is Bunduk Alaya (from ‘paralaya”, thus,  eastern mountain).

3. BACULUD (Bacolor)

The town known for its people of arts, literature and culture was called “Baculud”, from the word “macabaculud”, an upland surrounded by low-lying lands—which refers to Lubao.  Its name has the same etymological origin as the city of Bacolod.  Founded in 1571, “Bacolor” is the Hispanic name of this former capital of Pampanga.

4. CANDAUE (Candaba)

Candaba originally had an older variant name—Candaue, Candawe—which refers to a place where the municipal cemetery is now located. In old maps, the ancient settlement was marked as “Candave”, “Candava”, and eventually localized to “Candaba”. Already a rich settlement in 1571, it also has one of the oldest barrios in the province—Mandasig—founded by Mandic, the wife and first cousin of Malangsic, one of the children of Prince Balagtas, as related in the 1539 will of Pansomun.

5. CAUMPAUI (Floridablanca)

Before the town was named either after the count of Floridablanca, Jose Moniño (1728-1803) or the white pandacaqui flower, there was a certain place called “Caumpaui” existing in the area in 1847, that was established earlier by Spanish missionaries as a “hacienda” and administered from Lubao. It was transferred to the new town in 1867. Floridablanca is considered as Pampanga’s youngest town,

6. WAWÂ (Guagua)

The ancient prosperous town was originally called in “Wawâ”, which means “the mouth of a river”, based on its location. The spelling was Hispanized into “Guagua”in 1590, in much the same way that the “wa” of Palawan was written in old Spanish maps as “Paragua”.

7. BABÂ (Lubao)

“Babâ” is Kapampangan for “low”, in contrast to “baculud”. “Lubao” or “tubao”, is an extinct word meaning “to arise, or emerge, or float from water” (its modern form is the dipthong “gatao” or “gato”, to float) . “Babâ Lubao” thus means “to rise from the low depths of the water”. Old residents still refer to themselves as “tau cu Babâ”.

8. SAN MIGUEL (Masantol)

Masantol used to be a barrio of Macabebe, as recorded in the 1853 census. It was known as San Miguel, formed from the Macabebe barrios of Bebe, Bulacus, Caingin and Nigui sometime in 1877 or 1878. It was renamed Masantol, meaning  “a place full of santol (Sandoricum koetjape Merr.) fruit trees” after 1903.

9. MASICÚ (Mexico)

Before it was christened as Mexico in 1577, the place was called “Masicu”—and pronounced that way-- which may been derived from the “síko fruits” (chicos) that supposedly grew in the area, hence, “ma-sicu”. Another version had it that the town was “elbowing other towns”—hence, “macasicu”. In any case, the name was Romanized to “Mexico”, before the replacement of ‘X” with “J”, after the 19th century.

10. PÚRAC (Porac)

“Púrac”or “Pórag” was how the name of Porac was pronounced in the 1850s. “Púrac” was a flowering rattan plant (Calamus curag) which must have grown and proliferated in the area, now known as Porac.

11. CABAGSÁC (San Luis)

“Cabagsác” was the former name of the town of San Luis, a contraction of “cabág bagsac” , or “bagsácan cabag”, which means “ a drop-off place of  fruit bats”. The name was extended to “San Nicolas Cabagsác”, to honor its Spanish Augustinian priest, Fray Nicolas de Orduño.

12. VIRGEN DEL PILAR (San Simon)

Tradition has it that the former name of an Simon town was “Virgen del Pilar”, its titular patroness whose fiesta is celebrated every October 12. It is also to honor the memory of its founder, Mariano del Pilar.

13. PINPÍN (Santa Ana)

The ancient name of Santa Ana is “Pinpin” (variations: Pimping, Pingping, Pimpin) after an important person who may have lived during the time of Malangsíc. It was then placed under the advocation of Santa Ana when the Spaniards came, a name the town adopted.

14. SANTA RITA DE LELE (Santa Rita)

As a neighbor of the major town of Bacolor to where residents would go for their daily marketing and commercial transactions, the town was known as “Sta. Rita de Lele”.  It was also called “Sta. Rita Baculud”.

15. BALIWAG (Santo Tomas)

The traditional name of Santo Tomas is “Baliwag”, a new town in 1773. It is derived from the term “maliwag”,someone prone to habitual tardiness. It was rechristend Santo Tomas in 1792.

16. SASMOAN (Sexmoan)

Sasmuan was written on maps for over a century as “Sexmoan”, the Spanish transcription of the old town’s name, until 1991, when it reverted back to its vernacular version—Sasmuan. “Sasmoan” means “a place of convergence”, a meeting place where Kapampangans met when they were waging war with the Chinese. The sexual connotation of Sexmoan in English prompted the municipal government to return to the old name.


Monday, October 5, 2020

Old houses in Angeles City

Heritage homes offer soul, character and good bones. But owning and renovating one comes with caveats. A heritage designation, bestowed by federal, provincial or municipal governments, protects the features of a property that are of special heritage interest.

MANSION DE DON FLORENTINO PAMINTUAN located at Miranda corner Dalan Sto. Entierro, Barangay Sto. Rosario, Angeles City

This home of Florentino Pamintuan, said to be the first Kapampangan millionaire, was the site of the first anniversary celebration of the declaration of Philippine Independence in 1899; the waving of the Philippine flag from the second-floor window as well as the patriotic speech by President Emilio Aguinaldo is reenacted every year on June 12.

In 2010, the ownership of the house was transferred to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines through a donation. Restoration work has been done in 2012 with a budget coming from the National Government. The building now stands as a museum – Museo ng Kasaysayang Panlipunan ng Pilipinas (Philippine Social History Museum) which aims to present Filipino everyday life in the past and present, with special focus on clothing, music, food, and the life and culture of indigenous communities.

The house of the Pamintuans was one of the biggest and most beautiful houses of the country during the time it was built. A huge and heavy front door made of hardwood is the main entrance to the house. The grand entresuelo features a massive staircase of Philippine iron-wood. Its balustrade is carved in the most elegant colonial style. The whole interior of the house is a display of magnificent artwork. The carved ceiling is made of metal sheets in floral designs and most of the woodwork is intricately carved. Even the arches and the wooden buttresses that support the ceiling are ornamentally designed. The windows, walls and partitions showcase the architectural style of the period. The house also features two spiral stairways leading to a rooftop tower serving as a veranda, from where the nearby towns of Pampanga could be seen on a clear day. At the rear side of the house is another tower, probably a water cistern, because it is directly above the kitchen and the bathroom. Another massive staircase of concrete with branches in two at right angle leads to the backyard.

Heritage is the full range of our inherited traditions, monuments, objects, and culture. Most important, it is the range of contemporary activities, meanings, and behaviors that we draw from them. Heritage includes, but is much more than preserving, excavating, displaying, or restoring a collection of old things.

RAFAEL YUTUC SR. HOUSE located at Dalan Sto. Entierro, Barangay Sto. Cristo, another important landmark that stood the test of time, and bore witness to the rich history of the city.

It was built in 1923, the house originally belonged to Rafael Yutuc Sr. and Felixberta Dela Cruz. Rafael Sr. was a pharmacist who died at a very young age. Their son Rafael Yutuc Jr. & his wife Carolina Dela Cruz inherited the house. Mr. Rafael Yutuc followed his father’s footsteps and also became a pharmacist by profession. He was credited to have opened the first pharmacy in Angeles.

The house was said to be so beautiful that Juan Luna made a painting of the house, sadly the said painting’s whereabouts remain unknown at this time.

It was declared an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum in 2015 by virtue of the powers vested by Republic Act 4846, as amended by Presidential Decree 374 and Republic Act 8492.

MANUEL HENSON HOUSE (BALE CUAYAN) a historical structure that was initially intended to be a rest house for a sick boy, but was transformed into a residence, American barracks, band rehearsal area, and headquarters for Japanese invasion forces.

This was originally built in 1892 from materials such bamboo, sawali, and nipa, this structure was constructed by the grandson of the founder of Angeles, Mariano Vicente Henson y de Miranda, as a rest house for his sick son, Manuel.


MARIANO LACSON HOUSE was built in the 1930s at Dalan Sto. Entierro corner Dalan De Jesus, Barangay Sto. Cristo was taken over by the Japanese during World War II and was used as their garrison or base?


This house was also converted into a hospital — Mother of Perpetual Help Hospital — by Dr. Amelia Guiao & Dr. Luz Ayson prior their own building.

This house, owned by Mariano Lacson, a rich haciendero owning most of Sapang Maisac, Mexico, Pampanga, is declared as an Important Cultural Property by the National Museum in 2015 by virtue of the powers vested by Republic Act 4846, as amended by Presidential Decree 374 and Republic Act 8492

The Mariano Lacson House was said to have been commissioned to prominent Arch. Fernando Hizon Ocampo.

How to get to Angeles City

  • By Air: Fly direct to Angeles City via Clark International Airport (CRK) which serves international airlines such as Asiana, Cebu Pacific, Dragon Air, Emirates, Jin Air, Qatar Airways and Tiger Air, with regular flights to and from major cities such as Bangkok, Doha, Dubai, Hong Kong, Incheon, Kuala Lumpur, Macau, and Singapore. The city is also accessible from world-famous Philippine Beach Destinations like Cebu and Boracay (thru Kalibo) via Cebu Pacific’s regular flights through Clark.
  • By Land: Angeles City is about 45-minute (approximately 80 km) drive from Manila via North Luzon Expressway. Motorists coming from Metro Manila are advised to exit at the Angeles – Magalang toll plaza. Victory Liner’s daily northbound and southbound trips go through the MarQuee Terminal in Angeles City at regular intervals. Victory, Genesis and other major bus fleets bound for Baguio and Dagupan travel daily from Manila through Dau, Pampanga and drop off/ pick up passengers at the Mabalacat Central Terminal. It is best to ask the ticket officer or driver if the bus is stopping over Dau. From the terminal, one may take a jeepney or tricycle to the Clark Main Gate where passenger jeepneys bound to Angeles City are available.

Other related link:

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

How to avoid Covid-19?

Protect yourself and others around you by knowing the facts and taking appropriate precautions. Follow advice provided by your local health authority.

While most experts strongly encourage everyone—even those showing no symptoms of COVID-19—to wear a protective face mask while out in public in order to prevent the spread, there are still people who refuse to do so. However, a new study offers evidence that mask-wearing can dramatically reduce the non-contact transmission rate of the highly infectious and potentially deadly virus.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people who fall sick with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without special treatment.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air, and quickly fall on floors or surfaces.

You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within close proximity of someone who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then your eyes, nose or mouth.

The virus can cause a range of symptoms, from ranging from mild illness to pneumonia. Symptoms of the disease are fever, cough, sore throat and headaches.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.

Calling in advance allows your healthcare provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This protects you, and prevents the spread of viruses and other infections.

Masks can help prevent the spread of the virus from the person wearing the mask to others. Masks alone do not protect against COVID-19, and should be combined with physical distancing and hand hygiene. Follow the advice provided by your local health authority.

Older adults and people who have certain underlying conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 illness.

FACT: Exposing yourself to the sun or temperatures higher than 25°C DOES NOT protect you from COVID-19. You can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19.

There is no evidence that drinking lots of water flushes out the new coronavirus or the stomach acid kills the virus. However, for good health in general, it is recommended that people should have adequate water every day for good health and to prevent dehydration.

Lastly, Do not spread panic and “fear or insult” among others.



Monday, July 27, 2020

SONA 2020

5TH STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS OF RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES TO THE CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES

Kindly…

Senate President Vicente Sotto III and the honorable members of the Senate; House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and the honorable members of the House of Representatives; Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo; former Presidents Joseph Ejercito Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta and the justices of the Supreme Court…and the esteemed members of the diplomatic corps; Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and the members of the Cabinet; mga mahal kong kababayan.

We live in a troubled time. Our dream of prosperity for our country was suddenly snuffed by a pandemic virulent virus. No nation was spared. Neither rich nor poor were exempt from the onslaught of this deadly disease.

But let us not despair. The vaccine is around the corner. Sooner and not later, the virus that gobbled up thousands of lives will itself be laid to rest.

In the meantime, let us express the nation’s gratitude to those who courageously and willingly put their lives on the line to serve the people and country. We share the griefs of their families and no amount of tears can compensate their great losses.

My countrymen, it is sad that while government focuses its attention and resources to battle the coronavirus, there are those who take advantage of a pre-occupied government.

One of them is Senator Frank Drilon. In an interview, he arrogantly mentioned among others that oligarchs need not be rich. Then he linked the anti-dynasty system with oligarchy and the topic was my daughter and son. This happened after the Committee on Franchise voted 70-11 to deny the grant of franchise to ABS-CBN. Obviously, he was defending the Lopezes that they are not oligarchs.

Great wealth enables economic elites and corporations to influence public policy to their advantage. Media is a powerful tool in the hands of oligarchs like the Lopezes who used their media outlets in their battles with political figures. I am a casualty of the Lopezes during the 2016 election.

The dealers and purveyors of illegal drugs, hiding in the shadow of COVID-19, have stepped up their activities. The amount of shabu valued at millions of pesos seized during police operations speak volumes of the enormity and weight of the problem that we bear.

The corrupt, the grafters and the influence peddlers also take advantage of the fear and confusion that the coronavirus generates. The financial and material assistance of the government to the unemployed, the sick and the destitute running into billions of pesos, are not spared from corruption and ineptitude. Even the donations from well-meaning private persons are skimmed before reaching their intended beneficiaries. It is like snatching food from the mouths of babes.

The profiteers, over-pricers and corrupt felons must be laughing while they stash their dirty monies. But not for long. They cannot outrun the long arm of the law.

In this regard, the words of former President Ramon Magsaysay ring fresh and relevant today as on the day they were said decades ago. He said:

“We need men of integrity and faith like Rizal and del Pilar, men of action like Bonifacio, men of inflexible patriotism like Mabini. We need their zeal, their self-reliance, their capacity for work, their devotion to service, their ability to lose themselves in the common cause of building a nation.”

If we allow greed, self-interest and ambition to rule us, then as stated by one prominent physician, we will “be left with nothing better than the lesser evil instead of the greater good.”

In my inaugural address four years ago, I said that no leader can succeed at anything of national importance [or] significance unless he has the cooperation and support of the people he is tasked to lead and sworn to serve.

The efforts and resources which we poured out produced the momentum needed to bring our country closer to our goals. Suffice it to state, we made significant strides over time.

Over 4.3 million poor families benefitted from the Pantawid Pamilya; over 9.2 million beneficiaries received subsidies under the Unconditional Cash Transfer program; we also made available [free] tertiary education and universal health care. Public utility drivers were given assistance through the Pantawid Pasada Program. There are complaints that some drivers did not receive any assistance at all. I have directed the DSWD and DILG to look into this.

I welcome the passage of the law postponing the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections. The postponement saved much-needed government funds and ensured implementation of projects under the current barangay officials. In hindsight, it also saved us from holding the polls while we dealt and continue to deal with the pandemic.

The Malasakit Centers Act has proven to be of great help to our less fortunate citizens needing medical services through a one-stop platform in government hospitals. We commend the initiative and work of Senator Bong Go in this regard as well as other significant pieces of legislation. As of today, there are 75 Malasakit Centers serving Filipinos all over the country. These centers will be of great help in ensuring that our people remain healthy and resilient during these challenging times.

The Salary Standardization Law of 2019 increases the salary of civilian government workers. I hope that this law will inspire our government workers to perform better and encourage young, brilliant citizens to join public service.

I appreciate the law establishing the National Academy of Sports. We can now give our deserving student-athletes the training and support they need to excel in their chosen field of endeavors.

With the commitment of key members of Congress and the Executive Department, the PHISGOC, Philippine Sports Commission, and the Philippine Olympic Committee were bound together with one vision to host the 30th Southeast Asian Games. Our athletes prevailed. More than that, we fostered pride, patriotism, genuine sportsmanship, and camaraderie in our South East Asian brothers and sisters. Indeed, we won as one.

To our business community and the general public, we assure you that the landmark Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act has been gaining momentum. We are closer to eliminating overregulation in government services.

Frontline processes, including consular services, processing of building and business permits, and services for overseas Filipinos and seafarers were streamlined. Passports and drivers’ license validity were lengthened to ease the burden of the public.

We received a BBB plus credit rating despite a sea of credit rating downgrades and negative outlook revisions worldwide. [applause] The Japan Credit Rating Agency upgraded us from BBB plus to A minus last month.

Meanwhile, Moody’s has affirmed and maintained the country’s ratings at B2 --- Baa2 rather. [Understand. Because of the light I have … My eyesight is not as good as new.] Our fiscal position is strong, our economic and fiscal management prudent and our banking system robust. We are in a better position to weather the crisis caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.

We have accomplished significant infrastructure projects under the Build Build Build Program. I will not dwell lengthily on the nitty-gritty of our infrastructure accomplishments now lest I bore you. Instead we will release a comprehensive written report on our collective milestones and the details of accomplishments to remind us that perseverance, patience and determination will help us move forward even in the most difficult of times.

We issued last year Executive Order No. 100 establishing the Diversity and Inclusion Program as a national program of the Government. We want to end the discrimination of persons on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and other character traits.

My administration always believed that freedom from illegal drugs, terrorism, corruption and criminality, is itself a [human right].

Part of our efforts to uphold human rights is protection of the rights of children and the right against discrimination. Early last year, I signed Executive Order No. 92 creating the National Council Against Child Labor. Government efforts to protect the rights of children will be amplified to prevent, reduce and eliminate any form of child labor.

Our achievements along these lines have been extolled by an overwhelming number of our fellow member-States in the UN Human Rights Council, during its recently held 44th session last June.

Rest assured that we will not dodge our obligation to fight for human rights.

My countrymen, there are lessons to be learned from the coronavirus pandemic. It jolted us to realize that gains made after spending so much planning, effort, cost and time could diminish considerably and quickly for reasons beyond one’s anticipation; that it is much easier to destroy than to build; that in a crisis of national proportions that affects every aspect of human life, governments need to have the support and cooperation of the people if it is to succeed in battling the cause of that crisis, that there are people who ask for compassion but show none themselves; that life, after all, is fickle like the weather.

The gains we achieved in the first three and a half years were put to a test when the pandemic suddenly struck the global community. While I am aware that the road towards a comfortable life for all would be far easy if pandemic had not occurred and along the rest of the world we suffered.

The global scale and socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented. Yet in the throes of this global health emergency, we have been able to withstand the headwinds generated by this coronavirus.

In this regard I would like to express my gratitude to all those who made possible the steady supply of food, water, and basic utilities [to] our households [applause] and the provision of basic social services and financial assistance to our people. Our profound gratitude goes to everyone who helped keep our country’s food supply chain running, the valiant soldiers, policemen and security guards who kept peace and order [applause] in our communities; the dedicated personnel who kept our essential establishments operational. You showed us kindness and selflessness. You gave us strength. You risked your own lives to serve the greater good in keeping with the Filipino spirit of Bayanihan. [applause]

I also thank the men and women of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases and the National Task Force against COVID-19 for all the countless hours it spent to keep the pandemic in check and for all the efforts it made to ensure the safety of our people. [applause]

Let me also recognize the efforts of the local government units that stepped up and initiated their own response measures to contain the effects of COVID-19 and its impact to their constituents. Have been --- impact to its constituents. [The shadow says it’s a period there.]

I know exactly the difficulties you are undergoing. I pray that the officials of each LGU in our country – from the barangay to the autonomous regions – would set aside partisan politics and selfish interests to do what is right and good for all. [applause]

I likewise issued Executive Order No. 104, which imposed ceilings on the retail prices of at least 133 drugs and medicines, and directed a continuous review of the retail prices of others. This proved to be providential now that we are facing a pandemic.

To everyone who helped us in this time of great need, maraming salamat po. [applause]

Let me say that the strength of a nation rests in the hands of the people acting as one with government, in the pursuit of common goals and objectives.

When the pandemic struck, I decided to prioritize life over other considerations. According to experts, the interventions that the government had put in place prevented as much as 1.3 to 3.5 million infections. To me, even if the numbers were much lower, it would still be and would have been worth the sacrifice[s] we made. “Buhay muna, bago ang lahat.” [applause]

We initially encountered difficulties ramping up our testing capacity. We now have 93 accredited testing laboratories nationwide and we are aiming to conduct 1.4 million tests by end of July and ensure a quick turnaround time of 48 to 72 hours.

Under the Social Amelioration Program, we allotted [PhP205 billion] for poor and low-income households who were affected during this pandemic, who thrive on a “no-work, no-pay” arrangement. Admittedly, our implementation of the Social Amelioration Program was not perfect. And some opportunists turned crisis into opportunity. We will catch up with you sooner than you think.

We came up with the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program. We extended financial assistance to over 650,000 affected individuals in the formal sector, 110,000 OFWs abroad, and almost 83,000 repatriated OFWs. We also provided temporary wage employment [opportunities] to displaced marginalized workers through the TUPAD Project. Our indigent senior citizens were also provided with a stipend for the [first] semester of the current year.

This health emergency stretched the government’s resources to its limits. In response, the Office of the President worked closely with Congress for the quick passage of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

May I again reiterate my thanks to you, the men and women of Congress, for the effort you invested into passing that law. I hope that we can get some or the same treatment of clarity, purpose and the fastness [applause] to support the passage of the Bayanihan [to Recover as One Act], which will supplement funds for recovery and response against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We must facilitate the country’s economic recovery. I call on Congress to fast-track the passage of proposed measures such as the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises or CREATE Act. [applause] This immediately cuts the corporate income levy from the current 30 to 25 percent and give the government flexibility to grant a combination of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, among others. The Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer or FIST Act will set up mechanisms allowing banks and other financial institutions to dispose of and transfer non-performing assets and loans to asset management companies similar to Special Purpose Vehicles.

Our economic managers have seen infrastructure investment as an effective tool to help spur high growth, attract investments, create jobs, and achieve financial inclusion for all Filipinos. The [DPWH] has resumed the construction of the North Luzon Expressway Harbor Link, the NLEX-SLEX Connector, the Cavite-Laguna Expressway, the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, the R-1 Bridge Project, the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway Project, and the Subic Freeport Expressway Project, to name a few. To realize the maximum benefit from the country’s investments, the infrastructure projects under the Build, Build, Build Program, which are labor and capital intensive, are not mere springboards for the country’s swift recovery [post]-pandemic. They are economic benefits --- economic benefits to be distributed to all corners of the country and push sustainability in urban centers, particularly [Metro] Manila.

The TESDA launched an online mode of livelihood and skills training. There are 71 free online training to help upskill trainees for the right opportunities. [opportunities, I’m sorry]

I ask the TESDA to come up with special training programs to retool our OFWs so they can find employment opportunities here at home. I am also calling on the CHED for scholarship programs for the qualified dependents of our OFWs. I direct the Department of Agriculture and DTI to come up with agri-business and entrepreneurship projects to help displaced OFWs rebuild their livelihood. Further, I ask the LANDBANK and other government financial institutions to continue providing low-interest loans to our OFWs. Sa mga kababayan ko na naghihirap sa ibang bansa, nandito ang inyong gobyerno para matulungan kayo at inyong mga pamilya, lalo na sa panahong ito. [applause]

The government will intensify its efforts to help businesses, especially our micro, small and medium enterprises or MSMEs, by providing responsive government assistance and services, capitalization, and business operations support as we adapt to the next normal. [applause]

Nananawagan po ako sa ating mga lessors – nananawagan po ako sa ating mga lessors: malasakit at Bayanihan po sana ang pairalin natin ngayon. This is not the time to drive away lessees. During normal times they were the primary source of your income stream. Now, it’s time to be fair and compassionate. Come up with amenable arrangement with your tenants. Huwag po natin silang ipagtabuyan, tanggalan ng tubig, kuryente, at bubong. Commercial establishments are requested to give grace periods [or] allow deferment of payments, especially for MSMEs that were forced to close down during the quarantine period. Let us help them recover. [applause]

We pump-primed the recovery and rehabilitation of MSMEs. The DTI, through the Small Business Corporation, set up the PhP1-billion COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises or CARES Program to provide zero-interest loans for MSMEs affected by the pandemic. As of July 10, 2020, over 2,600 loan applications worth [PhP182.5 million] have been approved. We are optimistic that this initiative will help our MSMEs stabilize and recover from their losses.

I also enjoin the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and banks operating in the country to provide regulatory relief for our MSMEs and allow loan payment extensions, without incurring penalties and charges. [applause] We need your help to prevent the collapse of companies saddled with accumulated amortizations and payables caused by the closure of their businesses at the height of the strict quarantine periods.

As we embark on these efforts towards inclusive recovery, we should acknowledge that all forms of government support will go to naught if the new MSMEs do not thrive because of lack of consumer support. Ito ang panahon para suportahan natin ang ating mga kababayan [applause] na nagnenegosyo at gumagawa ng mga produktong sariling atin.

In the same manner, the tourism and recreation industries, which are among the hardest hit by the pandemic, count on our full support. While we slowly try to put the fun back in our local travels, the national government agencies and LGUs must harmonize their policies to boost tourism [while] ensuring everyone’s well-being. We enjoin our people to help boost the economy by traveling locally [applause] [local na lang] once the necessary systems are in place.

The DoST offers its Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program to enable businesses to access training that will help them transition to online and contactless operations.

Now more than ever, we need to protect our consumers. I direct the Department of Trade and Industry to ensure the empowerment of Filipinos on their consumer rights, and coordinate strategies between public and private organizations in building a fair, safe, resilient, and sustainable economy. [applause]

There are welcome developments for the e-Commerce industry. But major economic activities take place in a borderless environment with meager regulatory controls. They expose consumers to various risks related to security, data privacy, and misrepresentation.

We must patrol the country’s cyberspace and enforce online consumer and data protection and privacy laws. We must run after online scammers and those undermining the people’s trust in online transactions. We must continue to protect Filipinos in the new normal and remind the world that we are responsible stewards of data. I am committed to protect both the physical and digital lives of our law-abiding countrymen. [applause]

The national government shall lead the way in our transition to online systems. I reiterate my call for all government instrumentalities to implement systems that shall make physical queuing a thing of the past.

Panahon na para mawala [applause] na ang pila para mapagsilbihan ang gobyerno nang walang kahirapan para sa tao. The DILG, DBM, and the ARTA, along with all agencies and instrumentalities of government, are hereby directed to make [all] possible services available online. We need to adjust to and adopt a paper-less type business and work performance. We need e-governance [to provide] our people with the services they need [from] the comfort of their homes or workplaces. It will enable our bureaucracy to better transition into in the 'new normal' and cut or minimize red tape.

more to follow:

(Delivered at the Session Hall of the House of Representatives, Batasang Pambansa Complex, Quezon City | 27 July 2020)

Thursday, April 16, 2020

WARNING on hardheaded citizens

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte addressed the nation tonight (April 16, 2020) and discussed the following:
  • LGUs must follow quarantine guidelines
  • STRICT quarantine enforcement in Davao City under Mayor Inday Sara Duterte
  • WARNING on hardheaded citizens
  • UPDATE on vaccine development
1. Etong quarantine, para talaga sa iba. I am calling the LGU to follow the guidelines. Hindi ako namimilit. Just follow. Hindi naman ito Martial Law. Pero parang Martial Law na rin because I have to impose something on you. For the good of the country and of the people.

2. Kahit ako hindi makauwi ng Davao, kahit birthday ng apo ko, ng partner ko. Kasi bawal sabi ng Mayor ng Davao City na anak ko. Planes are not to allwed to land in Davao. Hindi magpatalo yan. Ako mismo gusto ko na umuwi. Baka bulyawan ako ng Mayor ng Davao to protect her people. Ako mismo naiinip na. Nagmumura na.

3. Mahirap awayin ang virus na ito. Hindi mo nakikita. Basta na lang ang transmission. 

4. The experiments are getting into a high gear. Baka makakita tayo ng lunas in a few days. Once they are ready to market the medicine, I will life immediately (the quarantine), not a single moment of delay. 

5. I would like the DILG to investigage sino nagsasabong at inuman. May mga pera siguro ito. Do not expect any help from me. Sorry na lang. 

6. We are feeding 18 million families. Kaya ang assistance binibigay ng Gobyerno, gamitin sa wastong paraan. Sa mga Mayors at Governors violating the quarantine, pasenya na lang. Ibigay natin ang pera sa mga nangangailangan.

7. Etong mga nagbabatikos naman. There is a time for everything. Next time, maniwala kayo. Wala na ako sa politika. Hindi na ako makatakbo. For the sake of the country, I will identify ang mga tao na walang ginawa kundi mag kontra. Ilang taon sila diyan, posturing, puro porma, yakyak ng yakyak. Wala namang ginawa. Sa panahon nila, puro korapsyon. Wag kayo makinig diyan. 

8. Maraming milyonaryo nag offer ng tulong. Sabi ko hindi ako tumatanggap ng pera. Sabi ko iderecho niyo yan sa hospital. Ayaw ko humawak ng pera kasi singilin ako balang araw. 

9. Kagaya ng mga komunista, mga left. Puro intelligence fund daw. Kwentahin yan.

10. Yung savings, pag naubos na, utang tayo. We will sell assets. 

11. Kahit bihira ako magdasal, I am calling the Almighty God to have mercy on mankind. 

12. Ang bakuna is about 2021 pa. This will give us a permanent immunity. Wala pa ngayon. 

13. Sabi ng mga experts. Hindi ako doktor, abogado ako. Lalo na ang mga doktor na bright, if you lift the quarantine hastily, baka yung first, second or third wave mangyari.

14. Kung nakinig kayo sa akin last time, naintindihan niyo. Kung hindi kayo nakinig, wala na tayo magawa.

15. Disiplina. Pag ayaw niyo maniwala, mag take over ang pulis at military. I am ordering them now to prepare. Enforce social distancing at curfew. Ayaw ko ito. Pero pag naipit ang bayan. Kahit ano man partido mo, sumunod ka. Kasi kung hindi, kaharap mo na pulis at military.

16. Johnson & Johnson, sabi almost a mile away. 2021. Yung iba sabi, baka machambahan. Eh di ok. Baka swertihin tayo. 

17. Ang ating total is 5,660. Ano na lang kaya kung hindi tayo nag lockdown. Dikit dikit sa MRT, sa mall. Umuubo. Sa mga palengke. 

18. People will have to go to the palengke to buy food. Pero isa isa lang lumabas. Sakripisyo muna tayo. Para kung magkasakit, isa lang. Kung may sakit na, isolate. Kung isa lang ang kwarto, sa kanto na lang siya. 

19. Ngayon, ang maganda nito. 5,660 cases. 435 ang naka recover. 362 ang patay. Yung data dito is all over the Philippines. Kaya di ko masisi ang anak ko. Tumawag, di ako payagan mag landing sa Davao.

20. 80% ok. 20% tarantado talaga. Di sumusunod. Nagsusugal. Bili ng alak. Sapakin ko talaga. Pag lumaban ka, pasensya ka.

21. The procedure as outlined by the DOH, sunog kaagad ang katawan ng namatay. Walang lamay. For the good of everyone.

22. We have a crisis and it’s killing people. Mga hospital, tanggapin lahat ng pasyente. Institute measures to protect the health workers. 9 hospitals refused to accept patients. Therefore, I’d be asking DOH to start the investigation. There are rules to be followed.

23. Hospital kayo. You are the sanctuary of the sick. You do not choose the ailment that you will cater. This is a moral thing. Trying to protect everybody, I understand. If hindi mo kaya maging hospital, isara na lang. I hope I made myself very clear on this.

24. Whatever we do here. There must be a humanity on it. Take into account the humanity angle.

25. Konting tiis lang. Ang masakit sa akin, ang anak ko ang nagbabawal sa akin. Kasi may batas, wala ako magawa. 

26. This thing about quarantine is a cruel action by the Government. Hindi madali ito. Pati ako nasasakatan. Problem is, pag dikit dikit tayo ulit, isang ubo lang, ubos tayo. Kung hindi ako nag lockdown. Tayo nauna sa Asia. Maybe because inaalagaan ko kayo.

27. Ang asta ko mayor. Ang bunganga ko mayor. Kung standard pano gumalawa ang presidente, wala pa akong makita. Pero it yun. Ako si ako. 

28. Hindi ako nananakot. Pero nananakot ako na mahawa kayo. Sigurado patay. Jusy try to keep a distance. Most importantly, may mask. 

30. Baka sabihin niyo napakahusay ni Duterte. Hindi akin ito ah. Ang mga doktor nagsabi ng mga social distancing.

31. May mga tao diyan sa Kongreso, maskin anong topic. May nasasabi talaga. Mga dakdak. There will always be a time for reckoning. Pagdating ng eleksyon, mamili kayo ng tama. Kita mo naman kung sinu sino sila. Tanong niyo, ano nagawa ninyo para sa bayan. 

32. What have you done for the country except to criticize and talk? Ang mga Pilipino naman, sa Facebook. Pero pagnagkamatayan na, you look for the Government.

33. Sabi ng isang smart aleck, pano natin malabanan ang COVID kung nakatago tayo. Tama sila. Kung gusto mo mag away, magtago ka. Kung gusto mo labanan, mag tago ka rin.

34. Sa Hubei, sa China. Doon nag umpisa ito. Pero wala na silang positive, kasi sumunod ang mga tao. So sumunod lang tayo.

35. I know it’s hard. We cannot feed you forever. Hindi mapagamot agad agad. 

36. One day, I will go to you personally and thank you.

37. Mga kababayan. Konting panahon na lang. Ang medisina na lang ang kailangan. 

38. Nakikiusap ako. Konting panahon na lang. Konting tiis na lang.

39. In the fullness of God’s time. The antibodies and the vaccines will come. Maraming salamat po!


KAYA NATIN ANG COVID-19! WE HEAL AS ONE! 

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